A Good Example of a Bad Example to Address Gun Violence

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Violence and violent crime is, unfortunately, all around us. It’s been worse in the past and it’s better than it was just a few years ago, but it’s still far too prevalent in our society.


These are facts and I generally don’t think this fact is something many will contest. We all know it, we all see it.

And people feel powerless to do anything about it.

So I’m not surprised that some people will try whatever they can to reduce the amount of violence in their communities.

I’m just surprised anyone really thinks something like this will work.

Gun violence continues to be an issue across the United States and right here in the Pioneer Valley. On Wednesday, Springfield residents gathered on the steps of City Hall for the Release the Peace protest.

This protest, hosted by Neighbor to Neighbor, was part of an effort to stop the gun violence in Springfield. There have been an uptick in shootings in the Springfield community and residents are tired of losing their loved ones to gun violence.

Bennita Watford with Neighbor to Neighbor says gun violence is a huge issue in the city and that more needs to be done to get these guns off the streets that a lot of young people are getting a hold of. She says it starts with guiding the youth in the right direction, giving them something to do after school.

“They need something to do, you cant have them do something when they make programs where low income families can’t afford it so there needs to be some community activities where low income family-single parent families can afford to pay for their children to go somewhere,” said Watford.


Now, a lot of this talk does deal with “getting guns off the streets,” or basically taking illegal guns and possibly banning lawfully owned firearms.

Yet it also seems they hope that this protest itself would somehow spontaneously create these programs that Watford is chomping at the bit for.

I’ll grant that unlike many protests over violence, these folks want concrete solutions to curb the problem and aren’t just protesting for the sake of protesting.

That puts them ahead of the game.

But protesting for others to come up with solutions is a good example of a bad example. It’s putting the onus on others.

Putting on a protest takes time. What if some of that time had been directed toward crafting some concrete ideas to get people walking the straight and narrow?

It’s one thing to demand solutions but this is the government we’re talking about here. What solutions have they ever come up with that actually worked as advertised?

I have little doubt that the people of Springfield, Massachusetts can come up with better alternatives than their elected leaders ever could. Further, they’re not hamstrung by some of the funding issues that come up with government-based solutions.


“But we need to get guns off the streets,” some might claim, but I disagree.

If you remove the guns, dangerous people are still running around and inclined to hurt others. They’re the threat.

Instead, if you address them, as private programs can do better than the government, you take the dangerous people out of the equation. If they’re not inclined to hurt people anymore, the existence of guns isn’t going to change that fact in the least.

Yes, they’re not just vaguely protesting violence. I’ll give them that.

Yet what they’re protesting for isn’t all that much different.

There are ways to reduce violent crime. They could have taken some of that initiative and started trying those efforts out. Instead, they just want someone else to make the problem go away.

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